Welcome Peggy Blann Phifer
Peggy Blann Phifer is an author and columnist, book reviewer and author interviewer, whose work has appeared on various Web sites and writer periodicals both in print and online. She is also an avid reader who loves to escape by diving between the covers of a good book. Peg enjoys handcrafts of all kinds and her home shows off some of her work, though most end up as gifts for friends and family. A retired executive assistant, Peg now makes her home in southern Nevada with husband of 25 years, Jim.
TO SEE THE SUN is her debut novel, released January 2012
Tell us about a typical day in your house.
My “house” consists of two adults, seven cats, and one dog. The days are typically monotonous. My ‘bed cat” wakes me up around 5 AM with a whisker tickle to my face. If I ignore him too long, he climbs onto my pillow and starts to do the bread-making thing on my head. That usually does it.
Then it’s put on some coffee, let the dog out, feed and water the cats, and slip into my office with a hot cuppa to read my Jesus Calling for the day. By then hubby is up. He cleans out the litter boxes and then fixes us breakfast. After that I’m back in my office catching up with email, Facebook, Twitter, my blog, etc. Depending on how late we ate breakfast, I often skip lunch. Sometime between 1 and 2 PM I walk the dog, play with him a little bit when we get back, then it’s back to the writing stuff, then supper, then an hour or so of reading, then lights out. See? Boring.
Sounds wonderful to me. When did you first begin writing?
As a little girl with severe childhood asthma (back in the days there was little they could do for it) I’d spend some long days in bed to keep me from over exercising, after I did the day’s schoolwork sent home with my sister, I’d read. And read. And read. Then I decided I’d write my own books. Silly, little girl stuff, fantasies, mostly. All of which did not survive my childhood. Regretfully . . . or not.
I bet it would be a hoot to read what you wrote as a child. What is the coolest, wackiest, or riskiest thing you’ve ever done?
I’ll go with riskiest. When I started high school, there was no bus that came out as far into the country as we lived. So, I had to get up early-early to ride into town with my dad so he could drop me off at friend’s house until school started. Then I’d walk the 2-3 blocks to the school.
The scary, risky part came when school was out. I walked, usually alone, a few blocks from the school to the local library. That part was cool, and it fed my reading addiction. But then when it came time to meet up with my dad two hours later, at a busy intersection another 4-5 blocks, it was starting to get dark. In the winter months it WAS dark. Part of that walk skirted a public park. One day, as I passed the park, a hand reached out from a bush and grabbed my shoulder. I screamed. He ran. After that day dad made me stay at the library until he came to pick me up.
Wow that is scary. Tell us about your latest book.
My debut novel, TO SEE THE SUN is about a young woman whose husband dies suddenly, leaving her pregnant, facing life as a single mother. Here’s the back cover blurb:
Pregnant and widowed hadn’t been part of her “happily ever after” dream. And now, someone was trying to kill her . . .
Erin Macintyre never expected to be a widow and a new mother in the same year, anymore than she expected mysterious notes, threatening phone calls, and a strange homeless man who seems to know all about her. The thought of raising a child without a father is daunting enough—worse when you have no idea who might want to harm you. Put an old flame into the mix, and her life begins a tailspin into a world she never knew existed.
When P.I. Clay Buchanan, stumbles upon Erin at her husband’s gravesite, he’s totally unprepared for her advanced pregnancy. Her venomous reaction at seeing him, however, was predictable. But Clay can’t let her distrust, or his guilt, get in the way—not when he has evidence that proves Erin’s life is in danger.
With few options left, Erin begrudgingly accepts Clay’s help . . . and it just might be her undoing.
What inspired you to write this story?
That’s a weird, long story. It started out in a totally different location with completely different characters, except for the female lead. She had numerous names through the long writing journey, but her inner personality remained solid. It wasn’t until I settled her in Las Vegas, my adopted home town that things began to take shape. But we still had a long way to go.
The inspiration for the finished manuscript, however, was a result of my big girl job. No matter what position I held through the 21 years I worked, I did a ton of phone work. And I got tired of fielding the inevitable question when I identified myself as “Peggy, from XYZ in Las Vegas. That annoying question? “Hey, Peg, won any money lately?” or different variations of the same theme: Gambling.
So I decided to write my story from a Christian worldview set right here in Las Vegas, to show readers that there was more to Vegas than “The Strip” and all the glitter and glitz the rest of the world envisions. Yes, it’s a romantic suspense, with some ugliness, but there are no gambling, casino, drinking scenes. And that is only mentioned in dialog.
I hope I’ve accomplished my goal.
Having read the book, I think you did. Can you give us the first page?
Friday, March 26, late afternoon
What a fantastic day. A bid won. A contract signed. The job of a lifetime that would put Stuart and Macintyre at the top of the construction heap, not just in Las Vegas, but all of southern Nevada.
Whistling, Justin Macintyre pressed the keyless remote of his Cadillac Escalade, tossed his
briefcase across the console to the passenger seat and slid behind the wheel. To top it all off, after seven long years, he and his wife, Erin, were going to have a baby. A baby!
He laughed aloud at the overwhelming joy of it. “Hey, world, I’m going to be a daddy!”
He shifted the SUV into gear and pulled out of the Mt. Charleston Lodge area onto Kyle Canyon
Road and headed down the mountain to the Las Vegas Valley below. Despite the successful day, Justin couldn’t banish his worry over a recent discovery of some irregularities in the company’s finances. Nothing concrete, and his Uncle Sebastian, S&M’s CFO, assured him everything was fine. Nevertheless, Justin’s uneasiness had prompted him to send what little proof he had to his long-time friend, Clay Buchanan, a private investigator in Texas.
Preoccupied with his thoughts, he vaguely registered the yellow and black blind curve warning sign. Too late he saw the stalled car across the center line. No time to stop! He spun the wheel to the right.
I’m going too fast! God, help me . . .!
Seconds passed and silence settled once more over the mountainside. A shadow emerged from behind a Joshua tree and stepped to the edge of the ravine. After a moment, the form walked to the car in the road and drove away.
So powerfully written. How can we find you on the internet?
You can find her books at any of the following locations:
Thank you Peggy for joining me today and showing us a little of your life.
I’m excited to announce that Peggy is giving away a copy of her debut book TO SEE THE SUN to one lucky person who responds with a comment and answers this question: What is my favorite quote? You need to visit her website (http://peggyblannphifer.com) to find the answer. BE SURE you include your name and e-mail address (for your safety, write out the “dot” and “at”) for notification should you win.
Contest ends one week from today. Open to Lower US only for a print copy; available as eBook everywhere else.
Come back Monday for my review of To See the Sun.